Using American and Israeli depictions of the Four Sons (some from Zion's Haggadah, and others from alternative sources), we'll spotlight ways to bring this exchange of questions to your Pesach seder and educational settings.
"In order to open ourselves up for learning, we have to first pry ourselves loose from the regular and everyday... And generally, that's the point of questions: to destabilize, to open space." – Rabbi Josh Feigelson in A Night to Remember: Pesach, Israel, and Good Questions
Questions frame conversation, and the Pesach seder is built upon this idea. At an iCenter incubator, Mishael Zion, co-author of "A Night to Remember: The Haggadah of Contemporary Voices," discussed the importance of having kids ask questions.
The Four Children+Discussion Questions
- Compare and contrast the different depictions of the Four Sons. In each depiction, ask which son is which and discuss why.
- Discuss the meaning behind each description of the Sons. What does it mean to be wise? What do you think being simple means? etc.
- Which depictions are American and which are Israeli? Compare and contrast.
- What stories are being told in these illustrations? What is the commentary on Jewish life around the world?
- How does perspective play a role in discussing and analyzing these pieces of art?
- How do the illustrations relate to the historic narrative of Judaism? Does being wise 100 years ago mean the same as it does today?
- What types of traditions take place at your family seder? Why do you think these traditions take place? How did they become traditions in the first place?
- Have the kids draw their own depictions of the Four Sons. What do they look like, what are they doing, and why?
- Create a comic strip that tells a story using the Four Sons. How are they interacting? What questions are they asking each other? How are they answering? (Have you seen the Dry Bones Haggadah yet?)